About this WebSite

This is the 4th version of the beautiful SIGMEDIA website. As far as I know, the first version was built by Perrine, then developed and maintained by Rozenn.

This version was getting a bit old and Hugh installed Plone and started to use it. Plone is a Content Management System, i.e. an all-in-one solution that provides user login, news, publication, calendar, FAQ, and so on.

Attach::sigmedia_v2.jpg

Figure 2: Sigmedia website, version 2

With this cool stuff, any user can create/edit web pages at home, directly from the web interface, without any actual connection to the server. The only difficulty is for the webmaster, and it turned out to be kind of heavy to manipulate. And it turns out that we don't need the collaborative aspect, neither we really need most of the addons that make Plone really interesting. Thus instead of spending some times to figure out how to masterise Plone, I (francois) preferred to rewrite a new website from scratch.

Figure 3: Sigmedia website, version 3

Although quite neat, this version 3 was a bit monolithic since only one person could develop on it. So I decided to go wikiwiki to allow anybody to update things. So here we are, with a new completely rewritten website. We picked up Pmwiki has been chosen because it seems popular enough and doesn't use mysql tables. Beware that I've done quite a lot of small changes to the original pmwiki code. I'll try to modify them to be fully compatible with the original pmwiki version.

Figure 4: Sigmedia website, version 4
Figure 5: Sigmedia website, version 5

Writing a website is a bit like writing a thesis. One can start using Word, or one can be clever and start using Latex. The point is that with Latex, one use structural markups instead of graphical tags. All the graphical properties of the structural tags are stored in a template class, and the author doesn't have to care too much about the size of the fonts. Well basically, the same holds good for websites!

In websites, instead of caring about the apparent design, webmasters should care about the semantic of their code and only afterwards at the design they want to have. In particular, one should clearly use headings tags h1 when you have titles, use em instead of i when you want to emphasis something, and use strong instead of b when you want to make a point, and most of all, get rid of tables whenever it is possible. All the graphical bit should be put in the CSS.

There are a couple of good reasons for that:

  • it improves the search ranking of the website with Google
  • it reduces the bandwidth requirement
  • it maintains easily the design consistency throughout the website
  • it makes easier to redesign the website

If you're still not convinced, or if you want to start right away, here are some very good tutorials/introduction explaining all what you need to know:

Here is an exemple on the CSS Zen Garden of what you can do by simply changing the style sheet:

Page last modified on December 12, 2007